(and so is the season of letters of recommendation requests from student pharmacists!)
While an honor to be asked to serve as a reference for a student pharmacist who is applying for residency or employment, it can often be a daunting task and a drain on your time. Even as an experienced letter writer, you may still struggle to make each letter unique and effective in telling each student's individual story. And if you are new to this process, where do you start? According to Adam Gregg, Program Manager for Pharmacy Continuing Professional Development at Gundersen Health, the goal when writing letters of recommendation should be to create a tool that will truly assist employers and residency programs in discerning a candidate's qualifications and fit so the everyone can be successful. This means avoiding letters that are non-substantive, overly glowing, or lack uniqueness. Gregg offers the following tips to employ before you even sit down to write a letter:
Embrace a spirit of candor - honesty is critical to ensuring an effective matching process for the student.
Be transparent with the requesting student - be sure the student knows you will be speaking to their strengths, but will also highlight their opportunities for growth
Gather information from the student - why are they applying to this particular job or residency? Does the program ask for any unique components or criteria? Review any evaluations for this student that you may have already completed on their behalf (IPPEs/APPEs, internships, employment, etc.)
Want to polish your skills and write more impactful letters of recommendation? Take this course from CEImpact - Writing Letters of Recommendation that Matter - Writing effective letters of recommendation can be gratifying if the right tools and skills are in place. Help your students navigate the employment or residency processes by helping them tell their story with effective letters of recommendation! Kathy Schott, PHD CEImpact, Vice President of Operations #ceimpact #pharmacyeducation #preceptors #pharmacy #cpe